Pentax Announces the K-1 Full Frame DSLR

Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1

Ricoh has finally joined the full-frame bandwagon by announcing the Pentax K-1, their first full-frame DSLR today. It has a 36.4MP CMOS sensor sans AA filter for maximum sharpness. Moiré is controlled by means of a AA Filter Simulator feature. It also has 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization and a 33-point AF system having 25 cross-type sensors. The viewfinder covers “nearly 100%” with a magnification of 0.7x, while the 3.2″, 1.04M-dot rear LCD not only tilts but rotates as well, allowing you to position the screen to your desired angle easily. This is a first to be seen on a DSLR. Here’s a video from CNET showing how it works.

Being a professional camera, the K-1 body is rugged and weather-sealed, dustproof and cold-proof thanks to 87 sealing points. It also has 2 SD card slots. A cool feature, also not seen on other DSLRs, is the Operation Assist Lights. These small white LEDs help you do things like change lenses or swap memory cards in dark environments without having to use an external light source like a torch or headlamp.

The K-1’s ISO can be set between 100–204,800, while the maximum shutter speed is 1/8000. It can shoot continuously at 4.4fps. The video specifications are somewhat disappointing though, with the K-1 supporting only up to 1920×1080/60i.

Along with the K1, Ricoh also launched 12 full-frame lenses, including a 15-30mm f/2.8 wide angle zoom and a 28-105 f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom.

The Pentax K-1 will be available from April 2016 for $1,800.

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Ricoh Announces K-S2, DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 Compact Lens, and AF201FG Flash


Turns out Ricoh were not quite done after their high-end announcements (and development announcement). Yesterday they took off the wraps to what promises to be a pretty small Pentax DLSR kit, starting with the Pentax K-S2 DSLR. Following up on the somewhat eccentric K-S1, the KS2 is more traditional, with the LEDs being relegated to lighting up a ring around the shutter release and the Wifi button. The K-S2 keeps most of what the K-S1 offered, including the 20 megapixel sensor and 11 point autofocus system, and adds a much nicer grip, dual command dials, articulating LCD, and Wifi with NFC.

Pentax has always offered a lot of solid specs for the price; dual command dials and weather proofing have always been standard on their low-end models, and many of them come with an optical pentaprism, instead of the cheaper and dimmer pentamirrors. However I am sure this will not be the camera to bring their market share up; fighting to gain market share against the incumbents is a trench warfare environment that will take more than a great camera to win.

The K-S2 will be available in black, white and the above black-orange in March for US$800 with the new 18-50mm lens (discussed next). Continue reading Ricoh Announces K-S2, DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 Compact Lens, and AF201FG Flash

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Ricoh Announces Development of Pentax Full Frame DSLR and Two New Lenses


Pentax users and fans have been talking about a full frame camera for the longest time since that mockup from years ago, and Ricoh finally are going to make one. I say “going to” because this is just a development announcement, with very little details. Model name? Unknown. Sensor used? Unknown. AF system? Unknown. Video mode, frame rate? All unknowns. The only other thing that is known is that Ricoh hopes to bring it by end of the year.

Well, it has been a long road, so a little more waiting won’t hurt. Faith and all that, eh?

In other news, Ricoh also announced a pair of telephoto zooms. The first is the HD PENTAX-D FA * 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW (what a mouthful), which adds weather sealing and a new multi-coat formula to the lens elements, and the HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW, which has a small increase over the usual 80/100-400mm zooms out there.

The lenses will be available in March for US$2300 and US$2500 respectively.

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News Round-up: Photokina Early Announcements

Olympus E-PL7
The first wave of announcements for Photokina arrived over the past week, and usually are not the “Plan A” cameras that the manufacturers will be bringing to the show. So let us start with the more significant camera, the Olympus E-PL7, which is mostly significant in that it seems to signal Olympus’s downsizing of the PEN line. With dual control wheels and a set of specifications pretty much from the OM-D E-M10 (16 megapixel 3-axis stabilised sensor, 3″ WVGA touchscreen, 1080p video at 30 FPS, built-in Wifi), this looks like the PEN update for the next product cycle. Not really surprising too, as the E-M10 at its current price point more or less makes a high-end PEN redundant, and as profit margins are needed to clear Olympus’s debt it looks like the low-end E-PM line is also getting the boot. It’s not a bad camera, though having the LCD flip downwards for the selfie mode seems a bit unfriendly for tripod use.

Arrives later this month for US600 for the body, and US$700 with the 14-42 EZ kit zoom. Also coming is the 12mm f/2 in black without the “Special Edition” price US$800.
Continue reading News Round-up: Photokina Early Announcements

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One Guy’s Thoughts: The New Ricoh GR

The new Ricoh GR, with almost the same dimensions as the GRD IV, with a much bigger APS-C sized sensor inside.
The new Ricoh GR, with almost the same dimensions as the GRD IV, with a much bigger APS-C sized sensor inside.

Ricoh stunned the world this week with the announcement of the impending availability of the world’ smallest APS-C sensor compact camera, the Ricoh GR, and naturally most of the major news sites went gaga over the next few days with previews of the camera. I’m not going to rehash many of the points already mentioned and dispense with the superlatives that have been associated with this new camera. As the owner of a Ricoh GXR system with the 28mm module with a APS-C sensor, I already knew the potential of a small camera system equipped with a APS-C camera, even if most previews and writeups of the camera seem to conveniently forget the fact the GXR with 28mm module actually exists.

The back of the new Ricoh GR - they managed to squeeze in one more extra external control!
The back of the new Ricoh GR – they managed to squeeze in one more extra external control!

What I’m instead going to write about here is the raison d’etre of such a camera – I’ve read previews and comments online commenting on the commercial viability or even photographic need for such a camera, with some also alluding to the fact that the Nikon Coolpix A was already on the market, and the Ricoh was merely copying the design. A few previews tried to dissect the camera based on specs, measuring auto focus speed and comparing with the Nikon Coolpix A. Some bemoaned the lack of a built in viewfinder, and some questioned the “slow” aperture of f2.8 for the lens. All have missed the point. Continue reading One Guy’s Thoughts: The New Ricoh GR

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